ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO A GROUP OF STUDENTS FROM THE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM IN GERMANY
Friday, 9 November 2018
A warm welcome to you all, who are in various ways linked to the Institute for the promotion of the new generations of freelance journalists. I thank the Directors Bernhard Remmers and Br. Helmut Rakowski O.F.M. Cap., for their words of greeting.
Fifty years ago, following Vatican Council II, the journalistic school of the Catholic Church in Germany was founded, with the intention of taking responsibility for those who work in the media. Since then, your institute has trained qualified journalists who work as Christians in society. I would like to express here my heartfelt thanks to all the directors, students, alumni, friends and supporters for their efforts. Germany can consider itself fortunate in the knowledge that there are many graduates of the IFP among the many journalists, that is in both the secular and ecclesial media.
As Christian journalists, you are distinguished for your positive attitude towards the person and for your professional ethic. You do not merely do a job, but rather you dedicate yourselves to a task and to a commitment. How easy it is, though, to let oneself be carried along by popular opinion, by a dissatisfaction and a pessimism that paralyses and blinds! “By force of habit we no longer stand up to evil. We ‘let things be’, or as others have decided they ought to be” (Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, 137). Let us as for parrhesia, let us ask for the frankness that comes from the Holy Spirit and that helps us to trust in Christ’s truth, which sets us free. Let us scale the wall of sadness and resignation, and help people to open their eyes and ears, and most of all their heart, to take responsibility for each other and to be aware of being sons and daughters of the one Father.
Thank you, because as journalists you turn your gaze to people and call injustice what is injustice. Thank you, because you speak also of good things which are perhaps less likely to end up on the firs page, but which place the person at the centre. Thank you, because with your Christian style you accompany the work of the Church. I hope you will continue to practise journalism of the people, for the people. And please, do not forget to pray for me.
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